- Balance your menu. Serve a variety of appetizers — crunchy/creamy, raw/cooked, hot/cold, savory/sweet — but make sure everything would still go together if it was on a plate at the same time.
- Have a realistic amount of food. Plan on serving three to five appetizers per person per hour. Let your guests graze through the party by keeping a small buffet set up with platters of meats, cheeses, breads and condiments, vegetables with a dip and various bowls of nuts, olives and chips.
- Keep your party well-paced. Keep half an eye on the clock, kitchen and bar to ensure that fresh food and drinks (with and without alcohol) are constantly in circulation, particularly if you're going to count down to midnight together.
- Garnish Festively. Liven up platters with small holiday ornaments, edible plants (poinsettias are poisonous!) or gorgeous small fruits and vegetables.
- Clink, clink. Splurge on inexpensive champagne glasses for your guests to hear a real "clink" when you toast the New Year.
- Keep it clutter-free. Keep the clutter to a minimum by setting up an easy-to-find area for people to leave used glasses and plates. Also, have several small waste baskets scattered throughout the room.
- Play it safe. Don't forget about your designated drivers and non-drinking friends! Keep a supply of fun and festive non-alcoholic drinks on hand.
Seven New Year's Eve Entertaining Tips
Host a seamless celebration